As ballpark season heats up, please, parents, keep your cool | Opinion

Kids order snacks while a youth game is held at the Crown Colony baseball field in Holladay on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Saturday mornings on the baseball fields behind Scera Park Elementary School in Orem was Xanadu to this 5-year-old.

It’s where my older brother Darin and I suited up in our green Giants uniforms to contend for the Orem City T-ball championship.

We practiced, played hard, kept score and set out to win every game — which is a far cry from today’s T-ball standard that rewards kids for showing up at all.

No matter if we won or lost, the true joy came after the game. That’s when coach Stan Pope gathered us around the back of his truck and presented a cooler full of ice-cold Pop Shoppe soda — grape, orange, cola, black cherry, root beer, you name it, he had it, and we drank it!

I continued the tradition with my son’s T-ball team many years later in Las Vegas. There wasn’t Pop Shoppe available, but we had plenty of cold treats. Our games were celebrations of friendship, teamwork, wins and losses — and treats.

As my son grew older, I noticed a disturbing trend over seven years of countless hours at the ballpark. With each passing season, there was less laughter and more frustration — and fewer treats. It’s when personal performance became preferred, ahead of the team, and it’s when parents transformed into critics instead of supporters.

During the final inning of a game where our team, the Cubs, had the lead, I put a determined 11-year-old pitcher on the mound, and he proceeded to …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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